Sunday, August 1, 2010

Vintage Tablecloths and Tables!

I've mentioned before that I am a collector!

Here is a collection that I started several years ago; vintage tablecloths and hand towels.  Fortunately, I started collecting when you could still find these at garage sales and auctions very reasonably priced.

Not all of my tablecloths are perfect, but I don't mind, I use them like they were intended and, then, throw them in the washer.......only wish I had an iron to throw them into, lol!  Actually, ironing is likely the reason tablecloths, for everyday use, fell out of favor.

Yes, in the 30s, 40s, 50s the kitchen table was always covered with a cloth, or sometimes, an oilcloth cover.  Placemats became popular in the 1950s along with Mr.. Birdseye's frozen dinners and T.V. 

Here are a few tablecloths from my collection........

sales 001

table 005

and a few hand towels.................

table 007 table 010 table 009 I love the cheerful colors and designs on all of these linens but I, also, love the beauty of white linens.......

table 015 my photography skills don't do proper justice to these gorgeous white on white hand embroidered towels.


Moving on to is a sweet gift, I received recently from a special friend...the little red table 002

table on top of our red and white enamel top table.  This little table, must have originally been a child's toy, it is so darn cute.





table 012



I think the little table would be charming used to hold condiments on a picnic table or, it may come into its own at Christmas, mixed with my collection of snowmen!


For sentimental reasons, I am ending with a special linen piece that was made by my grandmother.  This is an example of Hardanger, or Norwegian drawn work or needlework.  The "holes" are made by gathering the fabric threads together and embroidering around them to hold them in place, very delicate.

table 013

Call me sentimental but, to me, linens speak loudly of their previous owners....some of them were lovingly created by someone's hand, many were used to dry  hands or the dishes, that where then, set on a tablecloth where the family gathered for a meal.

The colorful linens were meant to make a woman's work a little cheerier and easier because a woman's "place" was in the kitchen......I'm pretty sure, not even Ward Cleaver dried dishes!

Thanks for stopping by and joining me at the following blogs:

Blue Monday @ Smiling Sally

Tabletop Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life

White Wednesday @ Faked Charm Cottage

Rednesday @ Sue Loves Cherries

Metamorphasis Monday

Followers and comments always appreciated!


Atticmag said...

I always enjoy seeing 40s linens and I'm crazy for enameled tables. You have such great stuff! good post. Jane F.

Lynn said...

Beautiful-enjoy! Tableclothes are a weakness of mine!

Donna said...

I love your vintage linens! I have a bunch as well, and I also have a few tablecloths similar to yours, but mine are packed away! You have inspired me to get them out and enjoy them:) Saw you over at Metamorphosis Monday.

burlap+blue said...

You have an absolutely lovely collection!! YOu said it is so cheerful!! xo

Susan said...

Love your colorful and pretty. I love old-fashioned things, don't you? Susan

MODERN Prairie Girl said...

Your spot was fabulous!!! I hope it was a great day for ya'll.

bj said...

hI, I'm bj and just came over from Smiling Sally's.
Your blues are lovely...and all the linens are wonderful. I do believe you are right in that ironing made everyone just toss those tablecloths. I still use them, too...and iron them. Nothing like a fresh, clean tablecloth...
xo bj
WOW...15 GRANDS...How many children do you have?
We have two wonderful kids, and our son has 6 children....daughter has 4...10 grands from 2 BLESSED !!

LV said...

I am a linen lover. I have several vintage tablecloths and other linens. I use them all over my house. I really like your tablecloths. Do you notice so many of the older ones have red on them.

kat said...

oh thanks for the info about placemats. I didn't know that it was existed before i was born lol. I love your table cloth collection. I remember my late grandmother had those table cloth in her closet ha ha.

Happy BM

Pie said...

You have quite a collection. I especially like the last one. I'm into Hardanger embroidery too but stopped for a while because I've been busy. I hope to go back into it soon.

My Blue Monday.

Paula@SweetPea said...

You have a great collection of vintage linens. I have a few pieces and truly enjoy using them.

Becky K. said...

Vintage linens are so pretty. I am glad you are enjoying yours. Have a great day!

Becky K.

SmilingSally said...

I grew up with a freshly ironed tablecloth on the table each night at dinner. Whew! What a lot of work!

Happy Blue Monday, Jan.

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Love your collection. The dish cloths look pristine.
~ ~Ahrisha~ ~

Mizzus G said...

Love, love, love this post. What a fantastic collection of linens you have. I love the patterns on them all. I collect linens too, though I have not been so lucky as you to have found such wonderful finds.

Ending with the piece your grandmother made was perfect. What a lovely way to keep a piece of family history and pass it down.

Beautiful post and I hope you have a beautiful day,

Susan Freeman said...

Hi Jan! I saw a little table just like yours last weekend when I went to an antique mall with my Mom. It is adorable. I love your vintage linens!

Susan and Bentley

Marie said...

Oh, I so love your collection of vintage tablecloths! I'm so into them right now and finally found one that shows the map of CA. I adore them! Stopping by from Blue Monday.

Blue Ridge Altered Art said...

I love the blue tablecloth that your little picnic table is sitting on. I am in love with blue and that just jumped out at me. Thanks for sharing your lovely linens.

Unknown said...

Your Grandmother's linen is beautiful! I'm inspired now to start using a tablecloth at our family table! I'll have to make my own though probably, because our table seats 10!

Have a wonderful day and HaPpY bLuE mOnDaY!!!


Georgia said...

This was my first visit to your blog and I loved it! I, too, am a collector of vintage linens and enjoyed seeing part of your collection!!
Did you know there is a club just for Vintage Tablecloth Lovers??? Come for a visit and I hope you will decide to become a member!

Happy collecting!
Grandma G's

niartist said...

GORGEOUS! I wish I would have strong armed my cousin for my grandmothers vintage tablecloths. I so admire your collection! Makes me want to start one of my own! Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

Gee said...

attractive, are those tulips on the tiny table? I love Tulips

Vintagesouthernlife said...

Beautiful tablecloths! I love all things vintage especially linens.

Heaven's Walk said...

So beautiful! I love the white handmade ones especially! What a wonderful collection you have!

xoxo laurie@heavens-walk

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

What fun and cheery linens! great to see your collection! Jacqueline

Amanda at 32˙North said...

Your old linens are terrific - great colors and patterns!


Rebecca said...

Love the tablecloths-I have some in my collection with roses-especially love the little red table.

Ann said...

Oh my, how I love your collection of linens! They are all so pretty and cheery. Also, your red tables are great.:)
Thanks so much for sharing them with us.
The Tattered Tassel

Jeannie B. said...

I love your tablecloths and dish towels. I love them on my table too but don't have many!

Rust: Vintage Inspired Design said...

Wonderful vintage linens....absolutely love them!
Happy WW!

★Carol★ said...

I agree with you, that linens really tell a story about the women of that time! You have a beautiful collection, and I especially love the piece of linen that your grandmother made. I'm very intrigued by that technique, and it sounds really intricate, and like it took quite a while to make. What a wonderful family heirloom!
Happy WW!

Killara girl said...

very pretty...i always love white linen!

Dancing Matilda

Anonymous said...

I love your collection of cloths..I'm old enough to remember them as regulsr table ware back in the day!
I, too, posted a white, vintage tablecloth on my blog, and can empathize with how hard it is to get a good doesn't really show the fine detail at its best, does it?

Anyway, lovely glad I stopped by...


Kathy said...

What a lovely thing to share. Those vintage tablecloths and hand towels are very cheerful. I especially love your grandmother's linen. What an amazing piece of work!
Hope you have a great day,


Hi. Just love your vintage linens and tablecloths. They are beautiful. I love using tablecloths; they add so much character to a table. Love your collections.
~ Julie

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

I love all your linens. I collect them too. I love the way you showed them to us today.

Something Nice and Pretty said...

Hello, just found your blog at Smiling Sally! Love all your wonderful pretty!


Fresh Linen said...

We have to have a "show and tell" party all about tablecloths. Hugs, Carol